International Mother Language Day 2015: new language initiatives from Microsoft


February 21 is UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day, which promotes linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The theme of International Mother Language Day this year is “Inclusion in and through education: Language counts.” As part of that celebration, Microsoft is announcing several exciting language technology initiatives:

  • New Microsoft Translator languages Microsoft’s free machine translation system—Microsoft Translator—expands the supported language set to 47 by including 2 new languages: Mayan and Otomi. Mayan and Otomi are indigenous languages from Mexico and Belize and—although they are still in use, the number of speakers is decreasing. Featuring them as part of Microsoft Translator’s growing number of languages will help in revitalization and preservation of these languages. Read more on the Microsoft Translator Team Blog.
  • Office in Cherokee Read about how Cherokee Nation is preserving and revitalizing their language for future generations by bringing familiar Microsoft Office applications to all Cherokee speakers. Visit the Office Blog to learn more.
  • Microsoft / Matuto Partnership Microsoft supports Matuto: Literacy for Life Partnership to enable learners across the globe to further literacy skills in an appropriate language and culture. The Chekov tool is used to write and record a dynamic eBook which can be used by learners across the globe to develop their literacy skills anytime, anywhere in any language. Visit the Microsoft in Education blog to find out more. 
  • Universal Shaping Engine (USE) Microsoft is releasing the Universal Shaping Engine (USE), a groundbreaking script-rendering technology to support the correct display of all of the world's writing systems. Visit Blogging Windows to find out more.

To learn more about International Mother Language Day, and what Microsoft is doing to support technology on this front, please visit the Official Microsoft Blog.


Comments (1)

  1. Bill Chapman says:

    Well done, Microsoft! I hope you'll allow me to mention a non-technological approach to linguistic diversity. Esperanto is a planned language which belongs to no one country or group of states. Using it brings speakers of different mother tongues together
    without having to resort to English or a strong regional language.

    Not many people know that Esperanto has native speakers too. See:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzDS2WyemBI

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